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December 06, 2012



Wasn't he the guy who led a bayonet charge with an umbrella and a Sten gun?


That was "Harry Carlyle" in the film, and apparently Allison Tatham-Warter in real life...


Perhaps he was actually a pacifist - with no fingers, you can't shoot anyone. Is his name an anagram?

Barry Freed

Brilliant solution. With no fingers you won't get burned by the Sten gun.

Chris Williams

Ah, _Riot Control_. Much better than Kitson's _Low Intensity Operations_. I suspect (but have no evidence) that yr man Deane-Drummond would have been on nodding terms with General Walker.

Richard J

22 SAS; involvement in Oman? Friends of David Stirling, y'mean?


I think this is the best bit:

"When a party of Germans broke in and went upstairs to site a machine gun, Deane-Drummond and his team dived into a lavatory on the ground floor. For three days and nights, they took it in turns to rest on the lavatory seat and subsisted on a few apples that they found in the cellar. The Germans often tried the door, but finding it engaged went away again."


Is the Kitson worth keeping? I've a copy somewhere on a shelf, but have only ever flicked through it, and am having to weed the book collection at the moment.


"[Carton de Wiart] was wounded seven more times in the war, losing his left hand in 1915 and pulling off his fingers when a doctor declined to remove them.[12] He was shot through the skull and ankle at the Battle of the Somme, through the hip at the Battle of Passchendaele, through the leg at Cambrai, and through the ear at Arras."

Good grief. The man was unkillable.

"My eyes are ceramic. Caught a bazooka round at Little Big Horn. Or was it Okinawa? The one without the Indians."

Chris Williams

Jakob, it depends why you keep books, how much space you have, and what your 'how much is it going for?' cut-off is. In my case, I might need it for reference, there's still a few feet of potential shelf space in the house, and a highish price ($50 on Abe) is an indicator that it might be a pain in the arse to get hold of it again if I need it in the future, rather than an indicator of how much I could sell it for. Also, proximity to St Pancras. Lots of variables.


Cheers Chris - will give it another look and then decide whether to cull.

Barry Freed

Good grief. The man was unkillable.

Or maybe just looking for Sarah Connor.


"He retired from the army in 1949 and is currently contained in a concrete-lined cell fifty feet underground at Catterick Garrison, to be released only on the direct orders of the Prime Minister in the event of another major war."


The Germans often tried the door, but finding it engaged went away again.

And they say the Nazis were savages!


That bit cracked me up too.

Chris williams

What I liked best was the way that once interwar peace had definitively broken out, C de W retired to hunt fish and shoot . . . on a Polish estate right next to the Soviet border. Clearly a man only ever really happy where it was kicking off.


The Germans often tried the door, but finding it engaged went away again.

The incident immortalised in film (0:00 to 1:15)

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